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I'm new here and am hoping for some support/advice. Roughly 8 years ago I was diagnosed with mild clinical depression. It took me a while but I eventually managed to beat it and haven't needed to take AD's in 3 years.
However I've recently been starting to feel stressed and low again. My manager "B" is a nice person in her own right but we just don't seem able to connect and never have done. I feel that she is very dismissive of me and I do not feel able to or safe seeking support from her.
As an example, early last year a (clinical) member of staff had claimed that he had not completed a piece of work on time as I had not finished gathering research and typing it up according to the set deadline. During my supervision B told me off for this and made a point of advising that it was important to complete all tasks as requested. However, he had not provided me with a deadline when setting the task and when I queried this had actually said it was not a priority.
I had e-mail evidence of this to back this up and when I gave this e-mail to B she simply glanced at it, set it aside and said "oh right". Then she pretty much ignored the whole topic.
On another occasion after this when I was feeling pretty frustrated by basic procedures not being followed (it's my job to make sure they are and I get in trouble when they don't) I tried to tell B this but was just asked "where's your evidence". It was frustrating but I understood more than my word is needed. So I wrote down the three main issues, 10 dated incidents of each issue and 3-4 solutions for the problems (trying to be pro-active). B just glanced at it, smirked and then ignored it and nothing was resolved.
I was feeling pretty isolated and unsupported by this point and felt a real division between myself and the clinical staff members. They are nice people but can pretty much do whatever they want and if things go wrong then I'm the one who gets in trouble for it.
So I've dealt with it by being nice to everyone but keeping my feelings, stress and frustrations to myself. After all there is no point asking for help that clearly isn't forthcoming.
This has started having an effect on my mental health though - in January I started having insomnia due to the stress leading to me being tired and irritable. After it had gone on for a few weeks I spoke to all members of my team and advised them that I was not sleeping, that I was a bit grumpy, struggling to concentrate and closing the door to my office to try and get on. I told them it was nothing personal and hoped that they didn't take it that way. I also advised that I was seeking treatment for the insomnia. (My GP issued zopiclone for my sleep issue and a referral for CBT for the insomnia and stress. I wasn't wanting to go back on AD's immediately. I think CBT is better for me).
I was very concious that the stress and insomnia was liable to make me grumpy so I have made a concerted effort to be polite at all times - although I know that I am no longer the happy chatty smiley giggly person that I used to be when I first started.
Nearly everyone was very understanding. B just told me I should try having kids. I realise she was making a joke but her tone of voice and body language made me feel quite dismissed again. That I feel un-supported anyway has probably also had an effect on this.
Given that I am still suffering with insomnia I've acknowledged to myself that I need to discuss my feelings with B however this is difficult as I have not had supervision / a dedicated chance to speak to her in over 6 months. So I must admit I have attempted to force the issue. On Monday - after 4 days of not sleeping at all due to stress - I called in sick with exhaustion for 1 day knowing that I would have to have a return to work interview.
On my sick day I also obtained another appointment with my GP to explain my feelings and he issued with me with a once a day AD which also helps with sleep issues when taken at night. He also gave me a one week course of 2mg of Diazepam to take 3 times a day for the anxiety I was feeling.
I had my return to work interview on Friday (yesterday). The first thing B said to me was that she hoped I was feeling better because she was so frustrated with me, the fact I was no longer chatty and smiley like I used to be, that my door was always closed, that my attempts to be polite were snappy and that she was planning to go to HR and have me transferred / dismissed if I didn't improve.
She also told me that despite the referral my own GP has made for me she is referring to our own staff health department for assessment.
I managed to remain calm during this conversation but afterwards I went to the bathroom and despite having had 6mg of Diazepam that day I suffered a massive panic attack. All i could keep thinking was:-
I've raised my concerns repeatedly and been dismissed.
I've not had supervision (recorded or unrecorded) in 6 months.
I've advised all staff off my insomnia and attempts to seek treatment.
"B" has not once in 6 months or since January / February when I made staff aware I was ill tried to ask about how things are going for me or provide me with any support.
The talk we had on Friday was only because I was off sick so how can she be contacting HR to get me moved - isn't she, as my manager, supposed to try and support me?
Is the referral she making to cover her own back so she can show HR she has tried to help me and then get rid?
I managed to calm myself down and pull myself together to get through the next couple of hours but on the drive home I was just in tears. I feel worthless and had a second panic attack when I got home.
I tried to contact my GP but it was out of hours by this time so I called 111. I was hoping to speak with or get an appointment with a doctor or a nurse or anyone who could maybe help me somehow.
The nurse on the other end of the phone told me she wasn't able to book an appointment yet (it was too early?) and gave me lifestyle advice on sleeping, tell me I shouldn't be driving while taking diazepam (my GP didn't mention that), and said she didn't know what a doctor could do. I've felt too intimidated and stupid to try ringing again.
I've not had another panic attack since getting home last night but I haven't slept just turning things over and over in my mind. I feel stupid. Worthless. Unwanted. Unsupported.
I've been trying my best at work. I've tried to communicate that I'm ill. I've tried to be polite and efficient but it's obviously not good enough. But no-one has told me. Nobody wants to know. They've just been talking behind my back and trying to get rid of me.
I feel like there is something wrong with me on a personal level. There must be. Otherwise why would this be happening to me? Why is my best never good enough?
I'm sorry I know I've written a lot. It most likely doesn't even make sense. I just don't know what to do. I can't think. I want to run away. I want to hide. I don't want it all to be my fault but I feel like it is. Just everything is my fault.
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